Football: Wales to meet Venables again before final decision

WALES HOPE to name their new manager early next week after interviews being held in the next 48 hours.

The FA of Wales sub-committee - convened to produce a replacement for Bobby Gould - meet today and are expected to hold talks with the main candidates.

It is believed the favourite, former England coach Terry Venables, will have a second round of discussions with FAW officials before the weekend. But the sub-committee will also talk to Neville Southall, Kevin Ratcliffe and Howard Kendall.

Their main job will be to persuade Venables to take the post either full or part-time. If the sub-committee can get Venables' agreement then a full FAW council meeting will be held early next week, brought forward from late August, to confirm the new manager.

FAW officials want the situation sorted out quickly because they need the new man and his staff in position well before Wales' next match away to Belarus in a Euro 2000 qualifier on 4 September in Minsk.

Liverpool are ready to sell Oyvind Leonhardsen to Tottenham in a pounds 3m deal in the next 48 hours. The Anfield club were approached by Spurs about the Norwegian midfielder and will let him go for the right price.

Leonhardsen is in Gerard Houllier's first team squad, but may struggle for a regular game this season with competition from Czech signing Vladimir Smicer.

Meanwhile Celtic manager John Barnes is willing to wait for Liverpool left-back Dominic Matteo after having an opening move for the pounds 3m-rated defender snubbed. And Matteo is also prepared to see if he can stake a place in the new team under Houllier.

Liverpool have recouped some of their summer spending spree by selling the South African international striker Sean Dundee to Stuttgart in a deal worth pounds 1.5m.

Birmingham City have signed Australian international winger Stan Lazaridis from West Ham for a fee believed to be in excess of pounds 1.5m. Blues manager Trevor Francis said: "I am very pleased that I have brought such a good player as Stan."

The sale of 26-year-old Lazaridis has earned West Ham a massive profit. They paid pounds 300,000 to bring him over to England from the Australian club, West Adelaide, at the end of the 1995-96 season.

Shareholders in Nottingham Forest have voted in favour of a deal which will see local a businessman invest pounds 6m in the club in return for a 40 per cent stake.

Nigel Doughty, a financier and life long Forest fan, has the option of paying a further pounds 6m at a later date to take his stake to 55 per cent. Though some shareholders complained that Doughty was under-paying, 57 per cent of shareholders in the First Division club voted in favour of the deal.

Nottingham Forest boss David Platt is poised to sign Chelsea's Danish Bjarne Goldbaek. Forest have agreed a pounds 1.5m fee with Chelsea for the 31-year-old midfielder, who moved to England from FC Copenhagen last season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set for a surprise comeback for Manchester United when they face Arsenal in Sunday's Charity Shield. The Norwegian striker seemed certain to miss the Wembley friendly after being sent home early from the tour to Australia and China for treatment on a knee injury. Sir Alex Ferguson dismissed speculation that Solskjaer would need surgery to cure the problem and the United manager has been proved correct as the player returned to training this week. "He has a good chance of playing on Sunday," Sir Alex said.

Solskjaer, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and David May have all been included in a United side to play Bristol Rovers in a testimonial for ex-Old Trafford full-back Lee Martin at Bristol on Friday night. Martin has been forced to quit the game because of a back injury.